StartupNation inspires, educates and consistently attracts entrepreneurs and small business owners from Main Street America who want to be their own bosses and live the American Dream.

Looking for a great way to drive traffic to your business? No
million dollar ad budget last time you checked? The solution may be to
harness the power of grassroots marketing.

marketing is simply taking an unconventional approach to getting people
interested in what you offer. It’s driven by creativity and energy—the
stuff we entrepreneurs have a lot of. And it doesn’t require a lot of
money—the stuff we have the least of!

To get started with grassroots marketing, consider these three ideas:

  1. Get trendsetters to be customers,
    even if you have to offer freebies. When everyday people see the "cool"
    people buying in, it can transform them into customers. Reach out to
    performers, celebrities and athletes. Depending upon your product or
    service, identify local people who are high profile—like the popular
    kids, the "early adopters" who have all the latest gadgets, or
    fashionable women who others copy.
  2. Sponsor local events
    where the audience is strategic for you. Buy a big banner and make sure
    it’s hanging in full view at the events. Studies show that familiarity
    alone can positively influence people’s buying decisions.
  3. Ask local merchants to cooperatively promote your offering.
    Find the ones who are not competitive with you but whose customers fit
    your target market. Print up inexpensive fliers and locate them at
    their cash register. Provide merchants with a coupon they can offer
    when someone makes a purchase. That becomes an incentive the merchants
    can use to close sales, and it gets your marketing material—the
    coupon—in the hands of consumers who’ve proven they are spenders.

When it comes to grassroots marketing, you’re limited only by your imagination and your tenacity.